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Michael Gordon, analyst at Westpac, notes that the New Zealand’s trade deficit in January was larger than expected, with exports slowing while imports held up.

Key Quotes

“Balance:  -$914m (Westpac f/c: -$500m, Market: -$300m)

Exports:  $4,403m (Westpac: $4,600m, Market: $4,800m)

Imports:  $5,317m (Westpac: $5,100m, Market: $5,000m)

Annual balance:  -$6,358m (last: -$6,106m)”

“New Zealand’s trade deficit for January was much larger than expected, reaching close to a billion dollars. There was also an unusually large $158m downward revision to the December surplus. The annual deficit is now at its widest since October 2006.”

“Most of the surprise was due to weaker exports, which were down 7.8% in seasonally adjusted terms.”

“Imports were largely in line with our forecast, except for the purchase of a large plane worth around $200m (we expected this to be recorded in the February figures).”